The interactive online platform for the Mesoamerican Network of Community, Indigenous, and Garífuna Radios (The Mesoamerican Network) offers a new space in which young citizen journalists can continue to produce independent news coverage even if they are not able to keep a regular schedule at the radio. By developing a mobile app, citizen journalists will be able to publish audio, video, photos, and text directly from their cell phones, documenting important events as they unfold. Above, a journalist at Faluma Bimetu Radio, is one of several community radios serving the The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), a member of the Mesoamerican Network. The radios of OFRANEH are coordinated and run predominantly by youth, and sustaining their participation in the face of migration, economic pressure, and outside responsibilities is an ongoing priority that an interactive website will help meet.
This project is the first of its kind to create a space for publishing, streaming, archiving, and sharing independent citizen journalism online. In Honduras, indigenous, Garífuna, and campesina communities, and especially women, are underrepresented online: this website will offer a platform for them to tell their own stories in their own voices, while simultaneously facilitating the exchange of news between these communities. Above, testing a satellite internet connection: satellite internet has been been used by several of the most remote communities in the Mesoamerican Network where access to the internet poses a challenge.
Our multimedia online platform will offer a unique space in which grassroots communities can publish photos, audio, video, and articles from their own point of view about important events that affect their community. At right, La Voz Lenca, one of the community radios of The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and OFRANEH.
An important part of this project includes offering tools to automatically record and systematize live broadcasts from various radios in one historical archive. This archive is an invaluable tool for other citizen journalists, organizations, and communities both in Honduras and internationally. Above, citizen journalists participate in a workshop in community radio production.
This website will serve not only as a platform for live streaming and publishing grassroots media, it will also offer a rich archive of materials for citizen journalists to download or broadcast directly from the site, facilitating greater exchange of news within the Mesoamerican Network. Above, citizen journalists from one of COPINH’s community radios broadcasting live.